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City Bans Open-Door Helicopter Flights After Deadly East River Crash

April 18, 2018 - 10:14 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The city made it official on Wednesday; no more open-door helicopter flights in the five boroughs.

The decision comes after five people drowned in the East River last month, when they weren't able to get out of the harnesses they were wearing, so they could take pictures from an open door chopper.

The new rule announced by the Economic Development Corporation will not affect helicopters that take off from New Jersey.

“It is our hope that by officially banning doors-off helicopter flights out of New York City, we will help improve air safety within the five boroughs,” said NYCEDC President James Patchett. “We are thankful for the leadership and advocacy of the City Council on this important issue.”

The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report about the helicopter crash last month.

The doomed flight took off from Helo Kearny Heliport in Kearny, New Jersey.

The pilot, 33-year-old Richard Vance, had previously told NYPD investigators that one of the passenger's safety harnesses may have inadvertently wrapped around the emergency fuel shut off button and by the time he noticed he could not restart the engine.